...serenity in motion
Artists are constantly working towards an inner goal. We can’t really quantify it but maybe I can explain it. Remember when you were doing art class in grade school and you had an idea of what you wanted to create? You would visualize it to the best of your ability and try to make it but, it would fall short. Your art teacher would try to encourage you but because it didn’t look like you envisioned, you saw it as a failure. Being an artist is like you are living with that teenager and trying to keep the art teacher’s perspective for yourself. Sometimes, you think it looks great; only to doubt yourself later on.
As an adult, we have been told by athletes, actors, entrepreneurs and other successes that visualization is the key to true realization of your full potential. As an artist, if we ever reach our full potential; we are done. We have to find room for improvement, We must keep reaching for the next best self. If we are ever satisfied completely with our ability and don’t need to do anything better, we won’t have a reason to keep pushing or trying.
Full potential is a false promise for those who continue to work hard. We know that stopping means the end and we will find ourselves working for an hourly wage. For this reason, we only see what we have done well but recognize how good we are not. Yes, there are times when we look at what we have done and inside we are screaming like we have scaled El Capitan with our bare hands. Then we take it to shows, enter it in competitions and sometimes, we live with it for a long time. When someone finally purchases it, they might not understand what they are taking home and what it meant to us. Thus, I tend to look beyond my current success to the “What’s Next?”
The nice thing about being an artist is that there is always someone who knows something we can learn. I call it the “Karate Kid” quotient. Mr Myagi telling Daniel-san, “There is always someone who knows more Karate”. Last year, I slumped and did a blog about it. Call it a creative block, a wall; whatever it might mean to you but I was afraid I had reached my potential. Look outside yourself for the answer to that. I did and found new directions to move in. I am excited again and will be working in new creative areas. Until then, I will need my outsiders who will look at my art and tell me the truth about what they see. I know who to ask, they understand the question. While several of you will ask the question at the beginning of this, these people will give me the answers that will keep me moving. It will be the truth. I appreciate all of you but for those who know who you are, thank you for being honest. Your truth is based in knowledge that we share and it keeps me moving.
By the way, consider this: Sometimes walls are put in our path so we have something to lean against and rest for a bit.